Music Structures

Back to Home Page Back to Music Structure




Takht ("bed", "seat", or "podium") (Persian: تخت; Arabic: التخت) is the representative musical ensemble, the orchestra, of Middle Eastern music. In Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, the ensemble consists of the oud, the qanun, the kamanjah (or now two), the ney, the riq, and the darabukkah (Touma 1996, p. 140).

The melody instruments play heterophonically in octaves or perform solos. Instrumental forms include bashraf, sama'i, tahmilah, and dulab. The ensemble may be joined by a male or female vocalist and a group of four to six singers who provide the refrain sections. Vocal genres performed include dawr, muwashshah, layali, ma'luf, qasidah, and mawwal (ibid).

While the takht typically comprised between two and five musicians, a similar, but larger ensemble (numbering eight or more) is called a firqa.


  • Touma, Habib Hassan (1996). The Music of the Arabs, trans. Laurie Schwartz. Portland, Oregon: Amadeus Press. ISBN 0931340888.